HAPOEL JERUSALEM sneed 248.88.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Maccabi Tel Aviv's reign at the summit of the Basketball Super League lasted less than 24 hours after Hapoel Jerusalem produced a stunningly dominant performance to rout Ironi Kiryat Ata 117-72 on Monday night.
Tel Aviv had moved into the top spot on Sunday with a come-from-behind 80-68 win at home against the Maccabi Haifa Heat.
However, Jerusalem showed its title intentions once again on Monday, giving bottom club Kiryat Ata little chance to make any impression on the game, which was played at the Nesher Arena.
No less than six Hapoel players scored in double figures, with Omar Sneed leading the visitors with 19 points while Roger Powell got a double-double scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Nir Berkovitch, son of former Maccabi Tel Aviv star Miki Berkovitch, led the home side with 21 points, but it was far from enough to give Kiryat Ata the chance to make any inroads in the encounter.
After Sunday's confusion in the BSL when the rim of one of the baskets snapped during the Holon-Ashkelon game, more problems arose on Monday when Jerusalem arrived at Nesher 45 minutes late as the team bus got stuck in traffic.
Despite the massive 45-point margin Hapoel coach Guy Goodes insisted the hosts had not made it easy for his team.
"We played excellently from the start, both in offense and defense," he said. "I am proud of the team."
Jerusalem was in control for the entire game, although Kiryat Ata managed to stay in contention in the opening minutes with a Berkovitch lay-up moving his side to within three points (14-11).
But the visitors were by far the superior outfit and easily began to pull away, leading 31-16 after the first quarter.
From then on it was all Hapoel, with the Reds scoring 30 points in the second quarter to take a massive 61-37 advantage into half time.
Another 30 points in the third quarter took care of the game with Jerusalem up 91-53 with 10 minutes to play.
Adam Halaska, who arrived at Jerusalem in the summer but was injured in preseason, finally made his league debut for the team from the capital and satisfied Goodes with his seven-point contribution.
"We played strongly and well. I felt good," Halaska said. "My leg is 100 percent healed now. I think the number of points I score I will improve as well."